Alaska Faces Lean Budget Times as Oil Prices Plunge
Alaska faces some drastic cuts to its state budget as oil prices plunge.
Lawmakers converge on Juneau for the start of the session Tuesday with oil at about half as much as the $107 a barrel it was when legislators left in April. Alaska relies heavily on oil revenue to fund state government.
With an estimated 80 percent decline in oil production taxes since last year, lawmakers and new Gov. Bill Walker will have to look at cuts and possible new revenue streams even as they dip into savings.
New ideas are welcomed. In fact, Walker is giving prizes to the five best ideas residents have to cut spending or raise money. In these lean times, it's not too extravagant: a soup-and-sandwich lunch with Walker.